The Head Start Program Performance Standards identify key features of early childhood curricula. This resource provides information about standardized training procedures and implementation materials. Standardized training procedures offer initial and ongoing support to education staff as they learn to implement a curriculum with fidelity. Materials to support implementation include resources that come with a curriculum to help education staff learn how to use it.
Head Start Program Performance Standard 45 CFR §1302.32(a)(1)(i):
Programs must use curricula that "have standardized training procedures and curriculum materials to support implementation."
What does "standardized training procedures and curriculum materials to support implementation" mean?
Standardized training procedures include initial and ongoing training to support education staff as they learn to implement a curriculum with fidelity (i.e., as it was designed to be used). Standardized training procedures provide consistent content (e.g., curriculum approach and guiding principles) and delivery methods (e.g., training length, in-person or virtual) across training sessions. Standardized training procedures vary across curricula and may include:
- In-person training offered by the curriculum developers, those qualified to train on behalf of the developer, or in-person trainings prescribed by the developer
- Training materials to be used by education managers and coaches, such as training scripts, presentations, webinars, and online modules
Curriculum materials to support implementation include resources that come with a curriculum to help education staff understand how to use it (i.e., what to do and how). The materials might also include resources to help education managers and coaches support education staff to effectively implement the curriculum. Curriculum materials vary across curricula and may include:
- Manuals for education managers and staff to support understanding of the curriculum's approach, guiding principles, and teaching materials
- Guides for education staff to support curriculum implementation, such as lesson plans that describe how to implement specific learning experiences and how to individualize for all children (e.g., dual or tribal language learners)
- Tools that help assess the fidelity of implementation
- Reflection or self-assessment materials for education managers, coaches, and staff
- Coaching and other individualized training resources to guide curriculum implementation
Why are standardized training procedures and curriculum materials to support implementation important?
Research shows that ongoing professional development can build education staff 's competencies related to curriculum implementation. Standardized training procedures offer education staff a consistent, foundational understanding of the curriculum and how to use it. Curriculum materials that support implementation help education staff use the curriculum with fidelity to promote children's learning and development.
What do standardize training procedures and curriculum materials to support implementation look like?
Read the following vignette to learn how Casa Naranja Head Start program leaders and staff used their curriculum's standardized training procedures and materials to support implementation.
Casa Naranja Head Start program leaders and staff read the HSPPS and realized they had never thought about standardized training before. As a first step, they review their curriculum and their own professional development guides and policies. The team decides they will focus their upcoming pre-service meeting on training on the curriculum for all staff. They also develop a plan to target a few of their in-service events on further training in the curriculum. For new staff, the team decides that coaching will focus on curriculum implementation.
They find three online training modules that include presentations, video clips, and handouts to use in their pre-and in-service training. Two modules are designed for education staff and focus on becoming familiar with the curriculum as well as implementing it with fidelity. The third module is designed for education managers and coaches. It emphasizes ongoing training and support and offers strategies to individualize the support to match staff needs, including introductory or more advanced professional development.
Casa Naranja Head Start also explores additional curriculum materials to support implementation. The curriculum includes teaching materials that describe ways to set up the environment and how to implement learning experiences. Some teaching materials offer strategies to individualize learning experiences for dual language learners and children with disabilities (or suspected of having delays) or other special needs. Teachers use these curriculum materials in their daily planning and implementation. Furthermore, the education manager uses the curriculum's fidelity tool, including observations and interviews, to review how teachers use the curriculum. She develops a professional development plan to improve implementation based on the fidelity data and feedback from coaches and teachers.
What do you learn about standardized training procedures and curriculum materials to support implementation from this vignette?
- Casa Naranja Head Start's curriculum offers standardized training procedures and a variety of curriculum materials to support implementation that can be used in professional development with staff.
- Casa Naranja Head Start program leaders and staff used standardized training procedures and curriculum materials to understand their program's curriculum and how to implement it with fidelity.
Resources to Support Your Work
Workforce Development: Ongoing Professional Learning
This resource provides more information on the importance of ongoing professional development and training.
Dual Language Learners Toolkit
This toolkit provides resources that can be used to support young children who are learning their home languages and English.
Resource Type: Publication
National Centers: Early Childhood Development, Teaching and Learning
Last Updated: September 12, 2018